Bernd Leno sends clear message to Unai Emery over Europa League final

The Arsenal number one Bernd Leno has sent a clear message to his manager Unai Emery that he wants to play in the Europa League final.

There is currently a raging debate going on whether it should be Petr Cech or Leno between the sticks against Chelsea on Wednesday evening with most fans preferring the German, however, the sense is that Emery will plump for Cech.

The reason the fans, including myself, want Leno in goal is two-fold, one, he is the better keeper and two, Cech joining Chelsea after the final.

We have already covered this here and anyone looking on Social media cannot have failed to realise that Arsenal fans unanimously prefer Leno over Cech. For his part, Leno has made his position abundantly clear

‘I have great respect for Petr, and we get along very well,’ the Arsenal No.1 told Kicker.

‘He deserves all credit, and I treat him well, but it’s clear that I’m an athlete, I want to always play, especially in a final.

‘To win the Europa League would be the first big title for me. We all want to hear the [Champions League] anthem again.

‘The Thursday-Sunday rhythm is also not so good because you always suffer in the league. If we lose the final, our season, which was actually good, would be disappointing.’

Leno is right to state his feelings publicly, the Europa League final is not just about silverware, it is about a bigger transfer budget, it is about Champions League football, it is about attracting the best talent to the Emirates next season and Emery cannot be allowed to go with Cech without the fans and Leno making their views known.

Will Emery listen? who knows, probably not but at least Leno has said his piece and it is now down to the manager whether he listens or not.


  1. I can’t believe people keep talking about cech as if he’s some academy keeper,this is arguably the most successful goalkeeper in the history of the premier league,and you hear people talking about him that he should be dropped after helping the team to the final,you can say Leno is better with his legs but you can not tell me Leno is a better goalkeeper than cech,this is his last match which happens to be a final and people think he’s not going to want to retire with a trophy?I predict cech will be our best player on Wednesday, am sure cech will do us proud on Wednesday.

    1. Lenohappy, but why is it his last match?
      He is retiring because he has reached the end of his playing career, but yes, you are absolutely correct in your summing up of his time as a No.1 keeper.
      But it was his decision to retire and we should ask ourselves why has he decided to call it a day?
      He obviously feels his time is up and this final is so important for the club with regards to CL football and everything it brings.
      Cech will be under immense pressure because of what was “leaked” about his future at chelsea and we really do not need to put him through that…especially when our No.1 goalkeeper is available.
      As with our new transfer policy, there can be no room for sentiment in this game and, surely Petr Cech would understand this?
      After all, next season he will be plotting to beat us in every game we play against chelsea won’t he?

    2. Leno is clearly Emery’s first choice and suits the playing style better. There is no place for sentiment. Our club is at a crucial crossroads and needs CL football. To not play your best 11 would be a sackable offense IMO.

      If Leno doesn’t start I will lose respect for Emery and we will lose the game.

  2. If Cech starts, the team have no other options but to win, to avoid any accusation against Cech

    I just hope nobody has brain farts during the game

  3. If cech play or not he will still collect a medal provided we win…his last medal…it just unreasonable to start Cech becux he is retiring…Leno is our best keeper beyond reasonable doubts good at his feet and also his hands…hotbgiod reflex compare to cech he got agility and awareness compare to cech…

    My point is cech still get his medal if Leno is in post…he will also gives assurance to his teammates knowing he can be relied upon with his feet…

    Cech starting the game will give the ball away to Chelsea too often with his long kick…we don’t have any dominant center forward in the air since Giroud

    Leno will surely keep possession in our favour…in every tactical sense Leno is the preferred choice…I will be ooooooo disappointed with Emrey if Cech start the game…all because of emotions not on merit…I guess he is not the tactical genius he claims to be with all his Data available to him

    1. Mihado, hang on mate, UE hasn’t even selected the team yet.
      He hasn’t done anything wrong so far in selecting Cech, after all we are in the final and that was achieved on merit (as you put it).
      Just wait and see is my suggestion and, if we win it with Cech in goal, we will all call him the tactical genius he deserves to be called.

      1. @Ken…That I know he hasn’t select his team yet but it looking obvious cech will be in post…I hope he doesn’t do anything wrong with his choice, for the sake of Arsenal faithful…you and I know the match is too big for a Gamble… I want to cheer very loud come Wednesday as I know you would too am just trying to limit the risk…whatever team he sets out once we win I will acknowledged him again as being a tactical genius as i’ve always see him to be… But the opposite I don’t want to say

  4. OT: Sheikh Khaled, Man City owner’s cousin, has reportedly agreed to buy Newcastle. Another Abu Dhabi money could make the oil football clubs dominate EPL in the next five years, unless Abramovich sells Chelsea cheaply

    If Kroenke doesn’t step up soon, Arsenal could go down lower than the 5th or the 6th position next season, due to the lack of investment. Especially if Arsenal are occupied with Champions League matches next season

    We already have a 200+ M squad, but the quality is still below the league leaders’. I expect the club invests more on better scouting, instead of getting other big clubs’ flops

  5. As Lenohappy says, Cech isn’t an academy player, or a player who lacks experience. It’s not as if there is a huge gulf in quality between himself and Leno, so it’s not panic stations just yet, should Cech play. But the fact is, that Leno is the better keeper. Leno is also our future number one, for what could be a very long time, from what I have seen from him so far, so he should start.

    What some of our fans seem to be forgetting, is that this our biggest game in 13 years. Arsenal have also been very poor on the European stage throughout our entire history, so I never understand why many are dismissive of the Europa League? Winning it, would be absolutely massive for a club like Arsenal. So why wouldn’t you pick your best starting XI for a game of this magnitude? Given that our defence is terrible at giving our keepers protection, shouldn’t we have our best keeper playing then? Could you imagine if we didn’t pick our best players if we were playing a league game against United, or Spurs, etc?

  6. Why do you think Leno is better than Czech?
    Leno only got into the team because Czech was injured.
    Up until then he had been brilliant particularly making a huge number of saves against Liverpool and Chelsea.
    He is better at catching crosses than Leno and commands his area better.
    Leno has stayed in the team because he has made very few errors and you don’t change your keeper unless he has made mistakes or get injured; remember Almunia taking over from Lehman?
    Czech is the best keeper we have had since Seaman and that includes Leno.

    1. No way has Cech been better than Lehmann! No chance in a million years! Has Cech had an outstanding season for us as of yet?

      Like I said, I wouldn’t say there is a lot in it between Cech and Leno, but Leno has been slightly better. Just think of how many really top drawer saves Leno has pulled off this season, and all those games when we were shocking, and it was basically Leno single-handedly keeping the scoreline down. Yes Leno only came in when Cech got injured, but you cannot say Cech started the season well? His distribution has been so bad he nearly kicked the ball into his own net!

  7. Cech in goal for me. He got us there. And don’t know why he retiring anyways. We got this. Chelsea are crap under that mad coach they have, long may he remain

  8. I might prefer to Cech due to technical or experience, but not now for final because he will go to Chelsea this summer as sporting director or something else, so for me now definitely prefer Leno for this final – that’s for sure.

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